21st Century Transformation [Speech]   [open pdf - 151KB]

Alternate Title: Secretary Rumsfeld Speaks on "21st Century Transformation" of U.S. Armed Forces

Secretary Rumsfeld Speaks on "21st Century Transformation" of U.S. Armed Forces (transcript of remarks and question and answer period) From Rumsfeld's speech: "Preparing for the future will require us to think differently and develop the kinds of forces and capabilities that can adapt quickly to new challenges and to unexpected circumstances. An ability to adapt will be critical in a world where surprise and uncertainty are the defining characteristics of our new security environment. During the Cold War, we faced a fairly predictable set of threats. We came to know a great deal about our adversary, because it was the same one for a long period. We knew many of the capabilities they possessed, and we fashioned strategies and capabilities that we believed we needed to deter them. And they were successful. It worked. For almost a half a century, that mix of strategy, forces and capabilities allowed us to keep the peace and to defend freedom. But the Cold War is over. The Soviet Union is gone, and with it, the familiar security environment to which our nation had grown accustomed. As we painfully learned on September 11th, the challenges of a new century are not nearly as predictable as they were during the Cold War. Who would have imagined only a few months ago that terrorists would take commercial airliners, turn them into missiles and use them to strike the Pentagon and the World Trade Towers, killing thousands? But it happened. And let there be no doubt, in the years ahead, it is likely that we will be surprised again by new adversaries who may also strike in unexpected ways."

Public Domain
Retrieved From:
U.S. Department of Defense: http://www.defenselink.mil/
Media Type:
Help with citations